Getting your Core Health

Getting your Core Health

Dr.Neeraj Mehta profile Authored by Dr.Neeraj Mehta on 14 Feb 2016 - 23:01.


The Core and its Importance

Muscles are the power house of your body. The core refers to any muscle that attaches itself to the spinal column or the pelvis. It is proven that if your core muscles are strong, you can get rid of a lot of medical challenges. Core muscles include rectus abdominis, external and internal obliques and transversus abdominis (the deepest layer of abdominal muscles) and of part of your thigh muscles.

What does the Core do?

Your core muscles act as a stabilizer and a force transfer center for the entire muscle movements. Core strength plays a major role in the ability to produce force by the bodily movements, which is the ability to control the force we produce. There are five different components of core stability: strength, flexibility, endurance, motor control, and function. It is important to first achieve core stability to protect the spine and surrounding musculature from injury in static and during dynamic state. A person having strong core muscles, will be able to balance the body more easily without causing injuries. Research has shown that athletes with higher core stability have a lower risk of injury.

What Causes Accumulation of Belly Fat?

Major causes of belly fat are genetics, slow metabolism, improper digestion, stress, menopause and excess or unhealthy eating.

Genetics: There are two body types, pear body shape (fat accumulation is in the lower parts of the body) and apple shaped body, (fat is stored in the abdomen and middle portion of the body). Most people have an apple shaped body, because of their genetics. If any of your parents have such body type, then you are at a higher risk of developing belly fat.

Underlying Disease/Chronic Disease

Weight gain is one of the causes for underlying medical conditions like Diabetes, Arthritis, Hypertension, Thyroid Disease and Hyperlipidemia etc. Rather than gaining weight and seeking medical treatment for weight loss, its preferable to understand the causes of weight gain and handle it before it takes a toll on you. 

Causes for Belly Fat:

Stress: According to researches, belly fat can result from mental and physical stress. When you are under stress, the “cortisol” hormone is released. This hormone stimulates the fat storage around the belly and waist line. When you are stressed, you feel hungry and tend to consume more food,which can lead to rapid weight gain.

Excessive Sugar and Salt: Excessive intake of sugar in the diet can not only make you gain weight, but can also affect your overall health negatively and also impair the immune system. Salty and spicy food retains water in the body and lead to bloating, that straight away, increases the waist line.

Skipping Meals : Skipping a meal plays a negative role in increasing fat accumulation. It slows down your metabolism because of the lack of calories and nutrients in the body to refuel us. When you skip a meal, you tend to overeat at the next meal.  Food choices are usually affected and portion sizes become very big. Indians are used to a three meal regime - breakfast, lunch and dinner. The long break between meals leads to consuming many calories in one go, leading to lethargy and those calories get stored as fat.

Slow Metabolism: Basel metabolic rate is a major contributing factor in abdominal fat. The slower the metabolism, slower the rate of calorie utilization and excess accumulation of fat cells in the body. You can increase BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) with the help of correct and balanced diet according to your “body type” and lifestyle, followed by regular exercises.

Improper Digestion: improper digestion, overeating, or eating junk food can lead to gastric problem and bloating of the belly or other parts of the body. Late night meals can also interfere with proper digestion of food. Going to bed immediately after a meal increases the risk of fat storage around the abdominal area and lower extremities.

Poor Posture: Your belly is considered the most relaxed and fat accumulation area in the body. If there is no workout in the belly area and because of the poor body posture, it can leave you with a paunch or 'pot belly' appearance. The right posture and alignment of the body makes a great difference to your body shape and appearance.

Alcoholism: Alcohol decreases the rate of energy released from the body and increases the rate of obesity. Calories are too high in alcohol (approximately 7 Kcal in 1 gram of alcohol); therefore excess alcohol intake gets often stored around the abdominal area.

Finally the most important aspect of holding the Clock of Life is, Exercise! It is the foundation of successful weight loss and weight maintenance, and is the only key to have great health, shapely body and fitness. Making exercise a part of your daily routine or a habit can have long term health benefits.

There are different types of exercises such as group aerobics, weight lifting, water aerobics, running, yoga, dance and zumba. All are good and depends upon the individual's body type and need. Any activity that you do on a regular basis will lead to body enhancement. Hence it will hold the clock of life.


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